Category Archives: Saving Money

Living Above Average Below the Poverty Line


The Old Lady wants to share some techniques that can help you live above average below the poverty line. Today we are talking about SMART SHOPPING.
The first step to smart shopping is to identify the cheapest local store to shop in… and it’s NOT always Walmart. Walmart has spent so much money pushing its “low prices” that people believe them, and don’t check. If you are living below the poverty line, you MUST check prices on a regular basis!
The Walmart closest to the Old Lady’s Cottage is right next door to a Publix where (the Publix marketing people happily point out on signboards) quite often the Publix price is cheaper. Which, it turns out, is often true but this is still more marketing. Marketing means: you are letting other people do your thinking for you.
The Old Lady did her homework: just down the street, Dollar General is even cheaper! Grocery items that DG doesn’t carry are generally cheaper than Publix at Winn Dixie. And produce (which should make up the bulk of your grocery bill) is cheaper than WD at the local farmer’s market.
OK, sometimes DG doesn’t have what you need. But at least, you can avoid the Brand Name Trap. When you buy Brand Name products, you are paying for advertising. Hey, somebody has to cover the cost of all those TV commercials! That would be you, if you fall into the Brand Name Trap. But very few products are really worth buying Brand Name. One is ketchup… Heinz is worth the extra money; maybe it’s the quality of their high fructose corn syrup, but it really is the best tasting ketchup. Q-Tips are worth a few cents extra; store brands tend to shred. But store brand tissues are just as good as Kleenex, and at DG are considerably cheaper. And who the hell cares who put the beans in that can?
The Old Lady sleeps better wearing a nasal strip (Brand Name: BreatheRight). But there are store brands, two dollars cheaper per box, that are just as good. The Old Lady likes Grape Nuts but Publix has a store brand called Nutty Nuggets that is not only cheaper, it’s actually better and easier to chew.
Bottom line: you’ve got to do your homework. Consider it a second job. If you are living below the poverty line, you probably are only working part time and probably only make minimum wage anyway. So, what’s your time worth? If you spend a few extra minutes checking prices or going to two stores instead of just one to save five or ten dollars, doesn’t that make the effort worthwhile?
Do the math. Read the labels. Plan your shopping so your trips are efficient. And you, too, can live well on less money! Listen to the Old Lady!

Notes From Below the Poverty Line


Here’s a bit of wisdom The Old Lady has learned: THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS YOU CAN LIVE WITHOUT:
1. Paper Towels – you are going to have to wash clothes anyway, so what’s a few more scraps of cloth? Bandanas are cheap at your local dollar store and have a multitude of uses, plus they are colorful and fun and can be a fashion statement in your wardrobe. Use them in the kitchen to wipe up, then toss in the laundry.
2. Eating Out – watching TV is a waste of time, but prepping and cooking your own food actually keeps money in your pocket. Cut off the cable and cut up some veggies! It’s also healthier to eat food prepared at home… which leads us to my next point:
3. Health Insurance – I don’t care what Obama says, if you live below a certain income level you can live without this. Check out your local county health department and you may be surprised how many health services are available to you without cost: mammograms, certain vaccinations, yearly checkups.

Here is something you SHOULD NOT do without: DOING YOUR HOMEWORK. If a little research can lead you to services that SAVE you money, then it’s just like EARNING more money. Make it your job to find ways to save and that will pay off for you.